Sera arrived at the Star Palace around the same time the twins had just woken up and were getting dressed up for the day.
She sat quietly in an empty room while reading the textbook she’d be using for today’s class.
She’s been on the same page for half an hour already.
Even though it was a textbook that she had repeatedly taught to several children, she couldn’t grasp its contents because of the uncomfortable feeling that had settled within her.
She was distracted because she was curious about what exactly that article had said.
‘I’ll try not to leave the house for a while, but I need to find that magazine where the article’s published.’
As her mind was drifting away, her thoughts were very far from the textbook that she was supposedly reading.
Rather, the urge to read that article grew even bigger.
These words were far from the truth, but she wondered why she was being so affected by an article that was ‘never true’ from the start.
If it was possible, she’d go straight to a newspaper store and ask for it herself.
And, the moment came sooner than she expected.
Knock, knock, knock.
“Lady Sera, are you busy”
A young handmaiden who had brunette hair carefully opened the door and came into the room.
She looked to be in her late teens, and she was the youngest among the handmaidens of the Star Palace.
“Are Their Highnesses ready Should I head to the study”
As Sera closed the textbook she couldn’t read properly and tried to get up from her seat, the young handmaiden spoke out as though surprised, then stopped Sera in her tracks.
“No… I mean…”
The handmaiden’s face was slightly red, and she seemed to have something she wanted to say, but she hesitated and instead just opened and closed her dry lips.
Turning her head to see if there was anyone watching from behind the door, the handmaiden finally spoke out.
But it was towards the person who seemed to be standing by the door.
Exchanging a few silent words with that person, the handmaiden shook her head and let out a long sigh.
Then, she turned to Sera again, and the handmaiden seemed to be ready to speak to her now.
“Um… Lady Sera, I know this might be presumptuous, but I was wondering if what’s been released yesterday is true.”
In response to her question, the handmaiden carefully took out a magazine that she was holding behind her back.
It was a familiar publication—the Imperial Magazine, which was the same one Sera bought last time.
So, this was the magazine that published the hot news article yesterday.
Sure enough, there was a huge tabloid title underneath the magazine’s name, and it read, [ Exclusive! The Emperor’s Rendezvous! ]
“There’s an article that says His Majesty is having dates in the late evenings… No matter how many times I read it, I could only think that it’s you, Lady Sera… So are His Majesty and the Lady…”
Perhaps she was trying to ask, ‘Are you two really going out on secret meetings’ ‘Are you dating’ or ‘What kind of relationship do you have’ but the handmaiden instead trailed off and asked wordlessly with an awkward smile.
Sera’s answer shocked the handmaiden entirely.
Several gasping sounds could be heard from behind the door as well, bursting out in unison.
There were several other handmaidens waiting there.
This handmaiden in front of Sera seemed to be their representative because she was the youngest.
Sera was reminded of how it was back then, and she thought that this kind of system seemed to be the same everywhere you went.
“That is, if you’re asking me whether or not I took a late evening stroll with His Majesty.”
This time, the sound that came out was a unified, ‘Ah…’ The youngest handmaiden made the same sound as well.
“You all should know.
The classes ended too late, so His Majesty just escorted me, and we were accompanied by a knight as well… So it’s just a misunderstanding.
There should be no surprise in this.”
With a broad smile, Sera explained the situation deftly, and she had a tone that said, ‘What are you all imagining after asking this question’
“Right It doesn’t make sense, but since there’s an article about it, we were curious, so we only wanted to ask.”
“Tabloids like this inflate the truth, you know.”
“But there’s also a story about how you held hands… So I was wondering if that’s true.”
Sera asked back, and the handmaiden nodded.”
“That’s what the article said, that His Majesty and Lady Sera were holding hands that day…”
The only thing Sera could think was, ‘Maybe they misunderstood when I gave him the caramel candy’ But she didn’t say this out loud.
She let out a weird sound because she somehow felt a prickling feeling, but fortunately, the handmaidens didn’t pick up on this.
“What a ruse! They’re making things up that never happened.”
Whether she answered all their questions satisfactorily or not, the handmaiden’s expression became brighter.
As she was about to turn around, Sera caught her by the shoulders and stopped her right there.
“But can I see that, too”
Sera cautiously pointed to the magazine that the handmaiden was holding.
“I haven’t read it yet.
I was wondering just how much the journalist had fabricated the story…”
The handmaiden willingly gave Sera the magazine.
Sera lightly sent off the young handmaiden with a simple greeting and closed the door behind her.
Then, she began to read the article carefully.
Apparently, it was an exclusive and a feature article.
Sera quickly flipped through the pages to open it to the part she was the most curious about.
Perhaps because the others had pored over that particular page a lot of times, but the magazine easily flipped to that part even without Sera having to look at the page number.
“The Emperor’s rendezvous, who is the young lady…”
Reciting the title quietly, Sera read through the article.
It was about His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Helios, who had never in his life met anyone romantically, taking an intimate stroll every night with a mysterious woman.
It’s simply amazing, the way the journalist had written about how they allegedly held hands in such sweet, sticky prose.